Find information on phobias, including symptoms, causes and how to access treatment and support. Get tips for helping yourself, plus guidance for friends and family.
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There are some things you can try to address your phobia. They may help reduce the impact it has on your life. Some people find these ideas useful, but they may not be for everyone. Only try what you feel comfortable with.
You might find that talking to someone you trust about your phobia can help. Having someone listen to you and showing they care can help in itself.
If you find it hard to talk, try writing things down. You could try writing a letter to help you set out your thoughts more clearly.
It might be useful to show them our page on how to help someone experiencing phobias.
Learning to manage the panic and anxiety you feel from your phobia can be really difficult. But by doing this, you might feel more in control around your trigger situation or object.
"When I begin to feel 'weird' in public now, I breathe in for four seconds (through my stomach, not my chest). I pause for four seconds. Then I exhale (pulling my stomach back in) for four seconds. This kind of breathing is hard to master, but it's the same kind of breathing we do when we are sleeping."
"I love helping others in a similar position. I have gained considerable amounts of knowledge, and am trying to share it."
Some people use self-help books or online programmes to help cope with phobias.
These are often based on principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). They will help you develop your own programme to reduce anxiety and make it easier to deal with your phobia triggers.
"Always remember that phobias are not life threatening and you are bigger than your phobias. A phobia is only as big as we make it and only as small as we make it, and it can be beaten."
Some organisations run courses in-person to help people overcome specific phobias.
For example, courses may be run by:
Take care when researching these online, as you might come across photos that trigger your phobia. It might be a good idea to ask a friend or family member to look them up for you.
These courses vary in price, availability and how they are run. Many courses are based on hypnosis or CBT principles such as exposure therapy. You can talk to your doctor about whether you think a course like this could benefit you.
This information was published in February 2021. We will revise it in 2024.
References and bibliography available on request.
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